Monday, November 29, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Bjet is my shining star! She got 2nd in the Ohio State Cyclocross Championship! It was a cold day, but a pretty sunset.
I slid in the mud on my first lap, crashed on the left side. I guess that loosened my skewer and my wheel nearly fell off on the third lap! I'm really glad I avoided disaster, but sad I lost a few placed I couldn't get back. It was a tough race, every time I looked at my heart rate monitor it was 10 beats higher than typical.
I'm really having fun now and sad that the season is almost over. On a side note, another quick but lovely visit to Yellow Springs. I really love it there, perhaps we'll work a short stay up there into our vacation schedule.
Friday, November 19, 2010
I would kill to go an a fun trip like this! A super cool CX stage race in Deutschland? Ja Bitte! Part of me would love to get in a EuroTrip in the next couple of years. Maybe this will coincide with faster legs, better skills, fatter wallet and a UCI license.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
I'm super proud of Bjet and teammate Gerry! There's only two local guys on the list, and most of the top local females made the list. Amanda would be there too but she's been battling an illness all Autumn (she seems to have recovered and flew to a second place last weekend).
Nikki is kickin ass in all the GPs, it's great to see her doing so well this year. She seems even more consistent than in years past, and that's with coming back from being hit by a motorist!
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
It was nice to go back to CapCity, it felt a little like home. So many good memories. The tough thing with this year is being the headliner. I'm warming up when my friends are racing and all my friends are drinking beer when I'm racing. But this race I tried to entertain once again.
Had a slightly better start than usual. And after about a lap or two I finally started warming up and felt like I was working my way up the field. I had the sensation that my rear tire was low but everyone said it was okay. I caught up to teammate Phil, homies J-izzah Karew and Jake. They guys already raced, cause they usually tear my legs off! So I got all Belgian and attacked the group immediately thinking Phil could sit in if the other guys respond to my attack. I was barely holding them off for a lap when I saw Sam "The Kid" ahead of me.
So I gassed it for a lap trying to catch the Kid. I got greedy and I was really hungry for places and working my way into the money, all the while trying to ignore the sensation that I was riding a low tire. So I caught the Kid and he was on my wheel, maybe I was a bit gassed but on a rooty quick uphill climb my rear wheel just slid out from under me! I accidently fell in front of Sam like a total loser.
So at the top of the hill I wasted a minute pulling my derailleur out of my spokes and getting my chain back on. I kind of wanted to cry! All that work for nothing and I was losing my spots!
I yelled "PIT BIKE!" when I passed Joe and Mitch. I wanted Bridget's 29er she had waiting in the pit, but I was handed Excaliber! Joe's Independant Fabrication custom steel CX bike with sick Zipp wheels. I had to quickly remember how to use SRAM shifters and I kept looking down because the Zipps sound crazy loud and badass when you are riding. I had to keep it pretty chill because I was more on top his bike and I was tentative in the corners, but perhaps thats the best way to ride a bike that costs more than the down payment on my house!
Thanks to Joe I got race my entire race, got some spots back and could go home feeling satisfied with my race. Still a bit ticked I soiled my race with a crash, but I think I was racing against time and by the end of the race my tire would have been completely flat. The next day I replaced the tube and found the culprit, a thorn went through my tire and punctured the tube.
5 7:54 (Crash! Mechanical!)
6 7:30 (Pit Stop! Sweet IndieFab goodness handed to me)
8 7:55 (Drats! Lapped by Ryan the Super Pro, finish a lap down)
Last Friday Jenny the Jamis and I cruised around on a sunny lunchtime ride and I ended up at 5th and Race, a parking lot that on some days is transformed into Cincinnati's newest lunchtime dining district.
The N'Awlins Po Boy truck smelled divine, but the line was so long I opted for a nice and toasty brick-oven pesto pizza. I also fueled up with a lemonade from the Pretzel man. I've also had Señor Roy's taco truck, which was nice and delicious and muy authentico. I have yet to try Café de Wheels, which I heard have some killer burgers.
I get all nostalgic for past vacations to Portland and Austin. These trucks travel around but I think they end up there every Friday.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
I was feeling pretty low after Bloomington and the GP. I was nervous about my move to Elite and I was starting to wonder if I made a mistake. I was starting to not have fun.
So the night before Storm the Greens I met up with my patron Mitch at Kings for some opening of the legs. He noticed I get all sketched out around other riders so he told me to chill, keep the rubber side down and work on being a foiler by coming back late in the race and poaching spots.
Race #57 Slow Birdie but back on par!
So my starts are so slow. I need to get some fast-twitch muscles someday! It's like I have a bungie on my back. Anyway, I held on at the start, trying to stay glued to the last wheel. Mitch was coaching me to keep it cool. It worked out and on lap 2 I attacked two riders and made a gap. Somewhere I passed a couple more! Goal #1 a success, out of last place! Unfortunately in the middle of the race my brakes began to mysteriously rub, so I had to jump off for a sec and worked that out. I lost one spot to a LWC rider, but he was pretty full of steam and going to hunt me down anyway. So lap number 8 I look back and I see the Bob's Red Mill Grain Train chugging along. I had to gun it so they wouldn't gobble me up, and I succeeded in Goal #2, I didn't get lapped! After that I just did a victory lap! I sprinted in to the finish to the cheers of my friends, kind of funny since I was so slow! But hey, no slip ups! Mitch's advice got me back on track!
Lap Time Speed
1 6:56.456 25.069
2 6:51.509 25.370
3 7:00.513 24.827
4 6:57.906 24.982
5 7:15.384 23.979
6 7:08.893 24.342
7 7:11.096 24.217
8 7:07.241 24.436
9 7:21.751 23.633
AVG Speed = 24.46 kph
Race #58 Picnic in the Mud
I had a blast going out and pre-riding the course with friends all week. The Gun Club is so scenic and such a unique venue.
A couple years ago my friends and family came out and we had a picnic in the mud. The day before I went down to Findlay Market and picked up a bunch of local ingredients straight from the farmers. Finally got my hands on some incredible Blue Oven bread. I also picked up some aged goat milk Houtz cheese from Blue Jacket Dairy in Bellefountaine. Great cheese, bread, beer and wine are their own religions and I worship at the alter. I had such a blast shopping down there, and I woke up early Sunday morning to make a vegan Apple Tarte Tatin, which I call the Parisienne Powerbar. It's basically an upside down apple tart that is perfectly suited to consuming about an hour before your race. I also made a vegetarian broccoli and cheese quiche. A hearty source of recovery protein post-race.
So to the racing! I lined up at the start with the same strategy as Louisville. But that all changed when two rider collided in front of me and I found myself endo-ing over the top of them. I got up and gunned it to get back in the race. I had to make a risky pass here and there, one was to get around a rider who couldn't corner worth a darn. I accidently blocked my homie Travis in a couple corners cause I thought it was that guy trying to get back around me.
Eventually I made it into a small group with Christopher Chartier and Samuel "The Kid" Dobrozsi. All of us excelled at certain parts of the course but no one could really pull away. Here and there one of of would attack but a bone-headed move in a corner would cause the attacker to be pulled back.
My friends were awesome! There were so many people cheering all over the course, and the three of us were battling for the last money spot. It was so fun to hear all their cheers and sometimes someone would say something funny to crack me up. My team homies were in the woods and I rode the creek crossing and the steep hill after just to make them happy!
It was there that the real drama happened on the last lap. The Kid got dropped and Christopher rode the creek and hill so smooth and clean I thought for a second he was Sven Nys! It was simply beautiful, and I think my dropped jaw slowed me down! He got a 10 second gap I couldn't pull back, and Chartier got the money.
Oh well! I was close! Best cross race of the year so far! Simply a blast!
Another crazy thing is sometime during the race I twisted my ankle but didn't feel it until I quit. Gotta love adrenaline!
AVG Speed = 26.47 kph
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
I've been working late a lot lately and my hours on the bike have been suffering. So after work I did some intervals on the commute home, did a beautiful ride up to Alms Park, took the road bike a short trail and then hit the polls. Yes, in my kit. It's called multitasking and although others don't oggle my Blackberry they can see my twig and berries. You're welcome.
Posted by James Billiter at 5:21 AM